In my humble opinion, today’s loss to Baltimore was pretty much inexcusable. The Orioles are a struggling team right now (and were not exactly a “good” team to begin with), and the Indians managed to knock their starter out of the game after only three innings. Despite this fact, the Tribe only scored 3 runs; all of which came in the first inning. The pitching (including the bullpen) was bad today…really the only bright spot was Asdrubal Cabrera’s defense.
To put this game in perspective the Indians out hit the Orioles 10-9, despite the 8-3 final score. While the Orioles stranded just 3 runners on base today, the Indians stranded 11. When you have the bases loaded with one out (as the Indians did in the 7th inning) against a pitcher that really seems to be on the ropes, you have to strike. The Indians failed to score and left the bases loaded. Travis Buck killed the rally in the 5th inning when he grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Indians were 2-8 with runners in scoring position; another pathetic showing. Even the typically solid Asdrubal Cabrera was 0-5 today and is now 0 for his last 11.
The Indians have benefited from an AL Central that seems to struggle as much as they do. They need to pull the trigger and make a trade for a hitter soon, or they’re going to end up falling out of this. There were times in all four of these games with the Orioles that the Tribe had a chance to really blow things out of the water. Granted, they won two of the four; however, they feasibly could’ve swept this series. If they’re not willing to make a trade, perhaps it’s time to call Jason Kipnis up to the major league club. Other potential Triple-A options – Jason Donald and Nick Johnson.
Even though Grady Sizemore is listed as “day to day,” I can’t imagine him avoiding yet another trip to the DL. Sizemore tweaked his right knee today; that is the one he hurt earlier this season (the left is the one he had microfracture surgery on last year). It’s pretty obvious that Sizemore is either made of paper, or he had never fully healed in the first place. I’m going to go with the latter – he never looked comfortable since his return from the DL and he’s really struggled offensively. He’d looked a little bit better lately, but I think it’s pretty obvious he was never 100%.
Prior to today, the Indians were 20-6 when scoring in the first inning. Putting 3 on the board early looked like they were on their way to making that record 21-6. Not only was the offense pathetic, but Jeanmar Gomez couldn’t protect the lead as he gave up 5 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. I know he’s just been back for one game, but I’m starting to worry that perhaps Gomez is a Quad-A player. He’s great every time he returns to Columbus, but that just doesn’t seem to translate to success once he comes to Cleveland. Indians pitching surrendered 4 home runs today, including the killer 3-run shot by Robert Andino. The Indians haven’t surrendered many 3-run home runs this season; this one was pretty much the nail in the coffin.
Now the Indians head to Minnesota, where they’ll play a doubleheader against the Twins on Monday. In game 2, Fausto Carmona is scheduled to make his return appearance from the DL. David Huff will come up from Columbus to make the spot start in the afternoon game. Minnesota was pretty hot heading into the All Star Break, and the Indians have struggled against them this season. (To put this in perspective – at one point the Twins were 17 games out of first. Now they’re 5 out.) The Tribe really needs to make a good showing in this series.